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Bar brawl brings about changes

Submitted by admin on March 25, 2010 – 2:57 pm15 Comments
 
 

RPD Chief Mike Broadhead

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – Riverton’s Police Chief Mike Broadhead said changes are underway after two of his officers were injured last weekend in a brawl at Bombers bar on Main that involved about 60 people and led to the arrest of three men. He talked about the incident on this morning’s Chit Chat. 

He said the out-of-state owner of the bar has agreed to make several changes, which include making his bouncers recognizable by wearing the same colored shirt, limiting the number allowed in the bar at one time to 150 and keeping known trouble-makers out by serving them trespass notices. The owner also plans to install a video surveillance system so he can keep an eye on the happenings inside the bar by remote.

The chief believes changes like this could have kept the weekend incident from escalating as it did. At the least, the changes would have better enabled his officers to do their jobs. He said his officers could not distinguish the bar’s bouncers from the bar patrons.

The bar owner seems eager for change, said the chief, and does not want another similar situation to occur. The bar owner is also apologetic, Broadhead said, and plans to make that apology to the citizens of Riverton through some sort of public announcement.

The chief said the changes would be welcomed by his department because officers have been called to the bar 90 times over the past year. In this recent incident, it took seven officers to bring the situation under control, which means the officers were not available to provide help to anyone else in town during the early Saturday morning hours when the fight broke out.

The three men arrested as a result of the incident were 28-year-old Ross Giles of Kinnear and 21-year-old Ryan Engle and 32-year-old Terry Elliott, both of Riverton. Engle and Giles were both charged with fighting and interference, and Giles was charged additionally with resisting arrest. Elliott was charged with assault. The chief said more people could be arrested after the investigation is complete.

As for his two injured officers, one is already back to work, while the other is still convalescing.

“He took a (beer) bottle across one of his vertebrae in his neck,” said the chief.

He went on to say the officer is not bedridden, but they’re waiting for the swelling from the injury to go down before he comes back to work.

The two officers were the first to arrive on scene and were beaten by the angry mob with fists, feet and even furniture in the minutes before the rest of the officers arrived at the bar.

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15 Comments

Comment by immadtoo
2010-03-25 16:12:49

What a sad state of afairs that the City Council has the ability to tell business owners how to run their business. I have been to Bombers many times and I feel the bouncers there are professional. As far as different shirts, I’ve seen security on their shirts every time I go there. Many times I’ve seen them quietly escort unruley patrons out of the bar. I’ve seen the bartenders “shut people off” frequently.

Is Bombers the only bar that has fights? I don’t think so!

Maybe RPD needs to give their officers a lesson in Officer Safety! You never go into a crowd with no back-up. Thank God the bar patrons didn’t get the Officer’s weapon away from him. What were they thinking by going in alone? That is a recipe for disaster!!

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Comment by hii3oobee
2010-03-25 17:26:37

maybe the officer expected the patrons to respect an officer of the law…sadly it seems they dont

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Comment by King Tut
2010-03-25 18:21:43

Police Chief Mike Broadhead, I think has ladies and gentlemen on his police force. Their patience is commendable, I’m not sure I could follow suit.

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Comment by rtownfordfan
2010-03-25 18:59:56

Their rule is if there is money on the table then your not to drunk. I have seen people passed out at tables. I even watched a drunk pass out at the bar, knock over his beer and and wake up to a bunch of people laughing at him as he ordered another beer. If you have money you will be served no matter how drunk you are.

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Comment by blossom
2010-03-26 12:05:06

immadtoo,
you must have been one of the ones sitting there drunk at the bar watching this. Grow up! When you are in trouble and need help the first person you would call is the police. Maybe some people should have respect for the law.

As far as the cops needing to take officer saftey…they went in together, that right there is officer saftey. They cant help if people cant hold their booze and start a brawl. They are there to serve and protect.

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Comment by maddmama
2010-03-26 12:27:44

immadtoo,

You obviously haven’t been following the story because the first article stated exactly why the officer went in alone – he was trying to protect the man in the wheelchair. His actions were commendable, as were those of all the other officers involved. Obviously something does need to be done about this bar. The owner seems more than willing to do something to fix the situation. I can’t see why anyone would complain about the police and the community trying to improve the violence and lawlessness that goes on in this bar. Give me a break!

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Comment by wyoghost
2010-03-26 17:23:51

I lived in Riverton for about thirty years, and I can say that I will never move back there. Corruption and scandals have plagued “Riverton’s Finest”, and will continue to do so. It is a shame that this incident at Bombers took place, but I suspect that the officers that responded used a lack of judgement in handling the situation. I had respect for RPD, but when they hired an officer from the Honor Farm, that I know for a fact, is a liar and cheat. This so called “officer of the peace”, is as corrupt as the next. I will say this; not one person deserves to be “beaten up”, however seeing “Riverton’s Finest” get their sixes handed to them is funny. For example, a friend of mine was pulled over by Officer (Name removed by moderator) for having a bulb burned out by his license plate. Pretty petty if you ask me. But if one looks at this in retrospect, we can use it as an example of the ineptness brought by RPD. I believe the situation at Bombers could have been handled differently. Why on God’s Green earth would an officer go in by himself to help someone, if that person was not in any danger of life and limb?

Now that I do not live in Riverton Wyoming, I am much happier, and feel safer. I never trusted the RPD, and now that such an officer as (Name removed by moderator) work their, I truly believe that “Riverton’s Finest” have become even more of a dishonest department. The next time you see that pathetic excuse of an officer, ask him where he gets all his money. He collects it from his wife who is part Native American. He once claimed that he makes $6,000 a month from this. This man lied his way into his position.

With this said, you can understand my not trusting the officers that responded to Bombers. I believe that there is more than meets the eye to this one. Someone should review the incident reports closely to insure that the facts stated are truthful, and not falsified to save those officers backside. Fights happen, and this is just like any other one. Can you imagine if this took place in a larger city. “Real” police officers would have handled it with better integrity. Good for you Riverton to put these uniformed enforcers of the law in their place. The invincible RPD found out that Rivertonites will not respect the law if the law does not respect them.

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Comment by King Tut
2010-03-26 17:55:04

Ok, now that, that was said and done … take two heart pills and call your doctor in the morning. You obviously have no clue what a bad PD is like.
Snell did a good job until he retired. Now, RPD’s folks are under the leadership of a Chief from a Major Metropolitan area and you can actually see slight changes from Snell’s days. My concern is that, the officers may become too lady-like and too gentlemen-like.

Outside of bar-room brawlers, I’ve not heard anyone local speaking badly of our RPD. Sorry that you feel I’m corrupt for endorsing our PD’s actions.

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Comment by doryall
2010-03-27 09:59:01

You know its pretty sad that you have to let your blind rage for one officer impair your judgement for all the other fine officers that put their life in danger for idiots like you. I was an officer in the millitary and reserve officer in a “BIG CITY” and was put in many bar brawls that required me to go in with my partner to help protect one person. I guess you could look at it another way. If it was your #$^ that needed to be protected you might not degrade the person that was protecting you.

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Comment by truthhurts
2010-03-26 19:00:02

Ok i hate to resort to this, but WYOGHOST your an idiot. Regardless of how you feel about a certain officer, it doesn’t make all police officers corrupt. You are ignorant to lump all officers into one group because you may have had a bad experience with one. You sound a little bitter, did a certain now RPD officer cost you your job at the farm?

There are alot of new officers working at RPD, many of whom weren’t around during the alledged corruption, and they probably just want to do a good job at what they do.

In one sentence you said; not one person deserves to be “beaten up”

Then you said; seeing “Riverton’s Finest” get their sixes handed to them is funny.

And later said; Good for you Riverton to put these uniformed enforcers of the law in their place.

These statements contradict themselves, are you off your meds? Because of your statements, I assume you would be right in the middle of the mob, taking swings at the officers from behind like the rest of the cowards involved.

If you would read the reports, you would see that the first officer believed the man in the wheel chair was in danger, so he went in. The second officer saw the first officer was in danger, so he went in. Sounds pretty noble to me, where’s the corruption.

WYOGHOST you were correct about only one thing, and that was when you said “Fights happen”. Thats true, they do, but this one WAS different. Its not just the officers saying there was 40-60 people involved, everyone who was there has said that. If you don’t live here, why bother stirring the pot, it only shows you character, or lack there of.

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Comment by rivertonnative
2010-03-26 21:17:02

Wyoghost, you disgust me to all end! How can you slander an individual officer when you do not know the facts of the incident at hand? I think that you are a troubled individual who needs to undergo a mental evaluation and subsequent psychological therapy!!! You do not need heart medication and a morning doctors appointment; you need a trip to Evanston ASAP! They have openings!

All police department’s across the country have their issues and RPD is no exception. Where do you get your factual basis to make your comments at? You state that “Why on God’s Green earth would an officer go in by himself to help someone, if that person was not in any danger of life and limb?”. Well, an officer has discretionary authority to make sound judgement calls and the officer that was in this incident probably used his best judgement to attempt to remove an individual who was apparently seen as being in harms way. If you were in a traffic accident and trapped in you vehicle, would you want the arriving officer to pull you out of the vehicle or do you want him to wait for back up? In Wyoming as you are aware, that can be a long time. It sounds to me that you are against the officer whose name was deleted for some personal reason, and you do not know if the officer that you are slandering was even involved with the Bombers incident. Maybe the officer you are in reference to was doing his job and caught you in the act of committing a crime and therefore you got in trouble. Typical criminal thinking if that is the case.

Furthermore, how do you know the officer’s income and other personal matters that you mentioned (name deleted by moderator)? Are you a stalker? I am glad that you have left our community and that you feel much happier and safer now. It is a relief for me to know that at least one menace to our society has left our community (that would be you) but at the same time I feel pity for the community that you reside at now. Hopefully the law enforcement agencies in your community will meet your great and high standards because God help them if they upset you because you more than likely will resort to your low life comments.

One last piece of advice Wyoghost, the next time you have a mental breakdown, feel the urge to pollute our eyes and minds with nonsense and half witted comments, feel free to call 911 or any other emergency or mental illness hotline number for care. Nevermind the 911 option, this system is operated by the police and sheriff’s departments that you so despise and you may get upset at them and retaliate when they place you into custody for your own protection.

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Comment by King Tut
2010-03-27 11:24:31

rivertonnative
I was trying to make light of such a harsh and defactualized statement made. But, you may have a point with this seemingly “proverbial ax to grind” message that “wyoghost” seems to elude to.
Yes I agree, when you see a “wheel chair bound” person and, a first instinct would tell you an “innocent bystander” is in harms way. Just to in turn, to find this person to be “one of the instigators” that you just risked personal harm in such an effort.
Folks as this wyoghost generally are at risk of personal health issues due to their self in flicked anguish. Even though wyoghost sees folks as myself a “corrupt” person for endorsing such awesomely trained law officers? I really do feel sorry for wyoghost that forgiveness is something wyoghost does not seem applicable or, see as good, obviously.

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Comment by dickie
2010-03-29 15:03:54

Sounds to me like a prison farm inmate with an ax to grind. Any bets?

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Comment by FRANKO
2010-03-30 22:59:33

Before going to work at the Fremont County Alcohol Crisis Center I had the same respect(lack of) for the Law Officers,both local and deputy sheriffs.I had alot of contact with these fine gentlemens and ladies. They were the upmost professional bunch of folkes and they had a heart also. Never once did I see abuse of a client there.There are those people whom are always bashing law enforcement officers because of heresay. This professionals risk their lives everyday to serve the public. They have given me a sense of peace knowing that they are there if I should ever have to NEED THEM.To bash these fine citizens you need to walk in their shoes and your impression would change for the good that they do. If you thiunk you could do better the join up or just go away.

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Comment by King Tut
2010-04-03 12:26:36

I saw friday the 2nd of April’s letter to the Editor regarding this fiasco of drunks fighting. Terry Sommers thinks the fight wasn’t as bad as we were led to believe.

In my opinion, when law enforcement gets assaulted “regardless of whom instigated or whomever was fighting or whom started this fight” that led to this fiasco in the first place?
When law enforcement becomes a target?
Our law enforcement (that swore to protect us) is assaulted!

Then, there is no right — except for law enforcement.
Investigations take up resources that felonious crimes needed tended to instead of. Resources for “whats on third and whos on second” scenarios are confusing and time consuming.

I, personally don’t care who started it, or who instigated the fights and who fought and threw punches at Bombers’. I just want to see “incidents” as this, the last brawl involving police use of this magnitude.

The best solution for those involved, “learn adult manners and drink responsibly” for everyones’ sakes.

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